Reduce Fatty Liver Damage

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Non alcohol induced fatty liver is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States. It is a condition in which excess fat is stored in the liver, and can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure if left untreated.

Non alcohol induced fatty liver is more common in people who are living with certain conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes, and unlike alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver is not caused by heavy alcohol use.

In a normal healthy body, the liver removes toxic byproducts and produces bile. Bile is a protein that breaks down fatty acids so they can be digested properly. Fatty liver damages the liver and prevents it from working at its full potential. Certain lifestyle changes can make this more manageable.

The first line of treatment is weight loss, through a combination of calorie reduction, exercise, and healthy eating.

In general, the diet for fatty liver disease includes:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • high-fiber plants like legumes and whole grains
  • significantly reducing intake of certain foods and beverages including those high in added sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fat
  • no alcohol

Here are some foods and things you should avoid when trying to manage fatty liver.

  • Any type of alcoholic beverage should be avoided when managing any type of liver disease.
  • Avoid high sugar foods like candies, cookies, sodas and all fruit juices. High blood sugar levels increase the buildup of fat in the liver.
  • Fried foods are high in unnecessary calories and are rich in unhealthy fats.
  • Consuming too much salt can increase the risk of non alcohol induced fatty liver. You should limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
  • White flour is typically highly processed, and items made from it can raise your blood sugar more than whole grains, due to a lack of fiber. Avoid white bread, rice, and pasta.
  • Red meat. Beef and deli meats are high in saturated fat.

Additional ways to mitigate fatty liver disease

In addition to modifying your diet, here are a few other lifestyle changes you can make to improve your liver health:

Get active. Exercise, paired with diet, can help you lose weight and manage your liver disease. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week.

Lower blood lipid levels. Watch your saturated fat and sugar intake to help keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to lower your cholesterol, ask your doctor about medication.

Control diabetes. Diabetes and fatty liver disease often occur together. Diet and exercise can help you manage both conditions. If your blood sugar is still high, your doctor can prescribe medication to lower it.